Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 18, 2013

Candidate Werner: Show me hard data, then I'll make decision

TRAVERSE CITY — Commission candidate Tim Werner wants to see hard data, not anecdotal stories before taking a position on city issues like adding police or joining the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department.

Werner will contend with six other candidates on Nov. 5 for three, four-year city commission seats. Werner said city services are adequate and he isn’t swayed by those calling to hire more police officers.

“I talk to a lot of people who would like to have (police officers) back, but a lot of that is anecdotal or emotional,” Werner said. “I’d want to see it thought out and well reasoned.”

He also supports a consolidation study for the city to join Metro Fire, an “emotional issue” for residents that makes it difficult to take a clean look at it, he said. Consolidation cannot reduce “the chances for survival in a statistically meaningful way” to make it worthy of consideration, he said.

“Politically I think it’s unlikely any consolidation could move forward unless there are very clear results indicating a benefit,” Werner said.

New commissioners will immediately address new policies in response to complaints about the number and type of festivals at the Open Space.

Werner doesn’t believe there are too many festivals but that point is coming. He proposes to reduce requests by raising the fee the city charges for festivals. The fee should cover city costs plus a small premium he would dedicate to park improvement.

Some residents and candidates have called for downsizing the National Cherry Festival but Werner says its not too big. He said the festival brings much to the city and residents should be thankful. But it’s a good discussion to have on a regular basis, he said.

“I don’t think we should have any sacred cows,” he said.

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